Glass doors and windows are the primary means through which we commune with both the inside and the outside of a building, permitting light to flow into the interior (in day-time) and allowing us expansive views.
They can also be decorative, but the natural indoor and outdoor heat exchange means a great influx of heat in summer and a great outflow of valuable energy, through generated heat, in winter. This, traditionally, has led to wasteful energy consumption through the heating and cooling of buildings. Insulating glass is the solution, providing energy-saving, environmental protection and comfort (noise reduction), yet still enabling us to commune clearly through our glass.
Insulating Glass, usually referred to as Double Glazed in Australia and New Zealand, also comes under the category of Hollow Glass, though this intriguing name refers also to a much broader category of glass products including bottles, glass spheres or bubbles.
Energy conservation of buildings is arguably a more important topic today and Hollow Glass (the IGU and Double Glazed Unit) continues to play an important role in this field. Over 30% of energy inside buildings flows away through doors and windows. This nagging fact alone ensures that the energy conservation capabilities of doors, windows and glass curtain walls will continue to be an important topic in the glass industry.
Double Glazed units need not be dull: spacing bars, made from fire-resistant macromolecule plastics or colourful aluminium, can be embedded within the hollow glass and can be different in colour and shape.
Low-E insulating glass filled with inert gas: Low-E coatings on glass effectively block heat radiation. Low-E Hollow Glass filled with inert gas can further reduce the direct transmission of heat energy and reduce the thermal transmission coefficient of glass. Hence the ‘Energy Efficiency’ tag I often apply to the product.
In order to achieve different effects, Hollow Glass units can also be combined with coated glass, toughened glass or laminated Switchable Privacy Glass to form various desirable composite products.